Review-Linda Hampton

Into the Light – an exhibition by Kate Eggleston- Wirtz at Urban Arts Studio

My regular monthly visit to the Urban Arts Studio this weekend, for the launch of the latest exhibition of a local artist’s work, was a joyous evening as always. Into the Light featuring artworks by Kate Eggleston-Wirtz is an opportunity to not only see the artist’s visual creations but also potentially catch a glimpse into her mind as well. At first glance the monochrome drawings displayed around the walls beckon us in to examine the details of these intricate creations. They all have a magical, wistful quality reminiscent of dreams. Whether charming or disturbing, all have secrets locked within them that the viewer wants to discover.

Kate explained to the packed house the fascinating back story of the creation of her works. These are her automatic drawings done originally in a black sketch pad with white gel pen, initially created as a form of relaxation and meditation. So struck was she with the results that Kate decided to seize the opportunity to exhibit at Urban Arts Studio to discover public reactions to the images.

Despite her background in illustration, these pieces are a far cry from the artworks she usually creates. Kate is known for her work with objects creating three-dimensional storytelling assemblages. Some of these are also in this exhibition and are reminiscent of curious Victorian inventions which would be very much at home in a steampunk setting. However, the playful, magical and enchanting qualities of these 3D pieces link them strongly to the black and white works on the walls.

Kate was interested to see how others might interpret her images and thus invited five writers to respond to the drawings. She describes this as having been ‘an exciting exercise and a fascinating journey’ in which the five writers have ‘perhaps in some cases got way into my head more than I might have cared them to..’.

The writers, Glynis Charlton, Sue Flowers, Liz Graham, Terry Quinn, Whitney Standlee, and Kate herself each read aloud their poetic responses to their chosen artworks and the result was exhilarating and enthralling. Terry’s medical engineer background inspired him to write the contemplative and tongue in cheek ‘The Reading’ juxtaposing Kate’s image with a microscopic view of the liver. His poem matched the playful but slightly unruly aspects of the image rather well. Glynis Charlton’s ‘Crow Song’ captured the uneasy mood of her chosen image, whilst Whitney Standlee’s ‘My Sister Speaks of Juliet, her Pet Rabbit’ was poignant and drew us back nostalgically to childhood memories.

The poems are displayed beside their respective images and a beautiful booklet is also available to purchase as keep sake with images and poems combined.

To visit the exhibition is a must in any case, but what made the launch night so special was the presence of artist Kate Eggleston-Wirtz and her poetic accomplices, who brought the artworks to life by combining spoken word and image adding a rich extra dimension to a collection that is already unique, inspiring and tantalisingly desirable. May we all go Into the Light.

Image courtesy of Kate Eggleston-Wirtz

Into the Light by Kate Eggleston-Wirtz can be viewed at this eclectic and welcoming venue at the following times:

Cafe Bar opening times:

Wednesdays     1400 – 1830

Thursday           1730 – 2300

Friday                 1900 – 0100

Saturday            1900 – 0100


Urban Arts Studio, 11-12 Whiteside Buildings, Back St Annes Road West, Lytham St Annes, FY8 1RD

[email protected]  Tel: 07931113855

Or find them on Facebook



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